Are You a Dental Implant Candidate?
Dental implants are a long-lasting and stunningly natural-looking restorative treatment that can replace a single tooth, multiple teeth, and even an entire arch. Their many health and functional benefits have deemed them as the new standard of dental care, and at our Trenton, ON dental implant practice we tend to get asked what it takes to qualify for the treatment quite a bit. We’ve provided this resource to give wonderful patients like you a better understanding of the treatment and how to know whether it’s a good option for you.
It’s always important to keep in mind that only a qualified dentist can truly determine your candidacy for the treatment. If you would like to learn more, we encourage you to schedule your dental implant consultation with Dr. Younes, which you can do by filling out the form on the right or by giving us a call.
What Makes a Good Candidate?
Dental implants are unique among restorative options, in that they organically integrate with the jawbone. This is done via osseointegration, which is the process by which the implant fixture is anchored into the jaw by naturally regenerating bone tissue. What does this mean for your candidacy? If you have healthy gums and a strong jawbone, osseointegration has a higher chance of success and you’re less likely to experience a post-operative infection.
Gum disease and bone loss in the jaw are treatable and won’t completely disqualify you for dental implant treatment. Your dentist may simply recommend a supplemental treatment, such as a bone or gum augmentation. You’ll find that even if you’ve suffered from bone loss — something that’s quite common and natural with those who have missing teeth — a supplemental procedure can easily get you back on the right track towards dental health and a stunning new smile.
It’s also important to remember that dental implants require a commitment to take care of your oral health, which means brushing and flossing twice a day. It’s also highly recommended that you visit your dentist for cleanings at least twice a year.
What May Restrict My Candidacy?
There are some factors that may restrict your dental implant candidacy. These include:
- Pregnancy: Because the treatment usually includes X-rays and anesthesia, it’s oftentimes recommended that pregnant women wait until the third trimester or even until after the birth. Whether or not a dentist will recommend this depends on the status of the missing tooth and the overall general health of the patient. If you are a pregnant mother it’s important to get a professional opinion you trust before agreeing to treatment.
- Smokers: Smoking can raise the risk of dental infection and can slow the healing process after the implant procedure, which can increase the risk of implant failure. There are best practices and protocols by which a good implant dentist can help reduce that risk, but the best solution is always to quit smoking.
- Alcohol: Like with smoking, drinking alcohol can slow osseointegration, or the attachment of the implant fixture to the bone. What does this mean? The less bone density you have, the more likely you are to experience a post-procedural complication. Like with smoking, it’s highly, highly recommended that you simply commit to not drinking alcohol until your implant has fully healed.
- Kids: Because our oral anatomy changes so much in our youth, it’s typically not recommended that children be treated with dental implants. The reason why is that if the jaw is still growing, the ultimate position of the implant may change over time and could potentially hinder their growth. One common option is to maintain the space open until the patient is eligible for the treatment.
- Chronic Disease: Patients who suffer from uncontrolled diabetes, hemophilia, and severe immune deficiencies may be ineligible for treatment. It depends on the extent of the conditions, but these health issues can increase the risk of implant failure and infection, which is why dental implants are generally not recommended in these situations.
- Teeth Clenching and Grinding: Habits like bruxism can put too much pressure on our dental implants, which correspondingly increases the risk of failure. There are supplemental procedures that may help, such as the use of an occlusal splint, and bruxism is not always a restriction on candidacy.
Like with all medical advice, only a professional dentist can give you an accurate opinion on your candidacy. If you fit any of the above criteria, there’s absolutely no reason to despair. We still encourage you to come in for a consultation, because you may be surprised to find that you qualify for dental implants.
Schedule Your Consultation Today
If you would like to learn more about the treatment or would like to know if you are a candidate, please give us a call. Our office is located at 96 Division Street, in Trenton, ON. We look forward to seeing you soon!